Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Another National Park checked

Headed to Shenandoah National Park last weekend.

Old Rag Mountain (3,291 ft)
9.1 mile with 2,415 ft (736 m) elevation gain
Mostly easy except Class 3 scrambling in the last 1.1 mile to the summit

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Dreamlist for Outdoor Gear

In preparation for my big road trip / backcountry hiking trip - I have come to conclude that these are the gears I wish I can own. High quality ultra lightweight gear that is worth the $$$$.

Gear Wishlist      

  1. Hyperlite Mountain Gear (HMG) 3400 Bacpack

    Weight: 32 oz | 907g      Price: $330

    Backpacker Mag's best ultraweight backpack. Cuben Fiber Hybrid makes up its fabric, a highly durable Dyneema material that is 50-70 percent lighter than Kevlar and four times stronger. It was this or the ZPacks Arc Blast but aesthetics, functionality, little bells and whistles (minimalism!) won me over.

  2. Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Sleeping Pad

    R-value: 5.7      Weight: 15 oz (Reg)      Pack Size: 1L      Thickness: 1.5 in      Price: $

    Cheaper alternative: NeoAir XLite ($159) or ProLite Plus ($99)
  3. HMG UltaMid 2

    With a bathtub interior mesh!
  4. Suunto Traverse Sapphire Black

  5. Zpacks Cuben Fibre Poncho/Footprint/Packcover

    Weight: 6 oz      Price: $175
  6. Komperdell Ultralite Vario 4 Compact

    Weight: 14 oz | 396 g      Price: $239

    Cheaper alternative: Black Diamond Distance FLZ Trekking Poles ($129) and Alpine Carbon Z ($189)
  7. BioLite BaseCamp Wood Burning Stove
  8. Oru (Origami) Kayak


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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Nintendo: bullish or bearish?

a Newbie's Guide...

[July 19th 11:00 CDT]

Source: YAHOO! Finance

Going long with Pokemon Go Nintendo (NTDOY)?

Only if you were in the market the first three days after Pokemon Go was released, tbh.

Yes, you may say it has been going up the last eight days, but has anyone tried to understand why it's going up?
 $310 per share (33,000 ¥), is it justified?

P/E ratio is at 230 right now. Which means people are paying 230 times more than what they are actually earning.

Now let's get to the point...

  • Pokemon is very huge in Asia and it's not released in Asia yet
  • Gaming industry is very big in Asia, hence potentially profitable 
  • Nintendo owns brand rights to Pokemon

REALITY CHECK - what's the bigger picture?
  • Nintendo owns 10% shares in Creatures Inc, originator of Pokemon
  • Nintendo owns 32% shares of Pokemon Company, which with Niantic, a Google spin-off the company helped Niantic Inc. develop Pokemon Go 
  • Niantic Inc, the main developer and distributor, also owns the platform of Pokemon Go, so majority of fees will go to them (30% goes to Apple, being an app)
  • Being the first AR game for the masses, development fee is massive (they had to raise $20mil in capital for Niantic)
  • Nintendo will not get profits directly from Pokemon Go, only royalties (sounds like about 10-16% profit margin, which is not much)

Source: WSJ

(More) Cons:
  • Fan-base for first generation Pokemon are mostly millenials - so release of the subsequent gen of pokemon would not keep players engaged long enough (speaking from a millenial herself who is into the gaming industry)
  • How can Nintendo (or more like Niantic and Alphabet Inc) keep the booming popularity and maintain players' interest. Millenials are at the age where they can afford to spend on in-app purchases, but also the fastest to get bored and move on
  • Gen-Z are the ones that should be appealed as they're the generation that mobile gaming profits the most from (parents will certainly spend on their children than themselves!)
  • Game relies on people going out to play - safety issue a big thing in Asian countries and concerned Asian parents, 3G/4G limitations in poorer parts of Asia
  • Pokemon Go is a micro-transaction model but since it depends on users going out to different stops - it actually discourages the pay-to-play
  • How long until it releases in Asia? Delays in launch of Pokemon Go in Asia will worry investors.


American market is a consumerism capitalist, so it's expected to be profitable there. Releases in Europe wouldn't be as big of a profit, remember, number of downloads does not equate profits. Think of the European and English culture and how it's related to the gaming industry there, it's never a big gain there. They'd happily download it (it's free to do so) but would be much more reluctant to spend on in-app purchases like their Asian and American counterparts.

  • The company has been performing poorly in Q3 and Q4 with console sales and has a poor outlook of the next fiscal year 2016/2017
  • Has always been skeptical about mobile gaming but will need to move quickly into the arena to keep up with Pokemon Go momentum

High-Yield High-Risk:
  • Investors are investing in 'hope', rather than actual quants.
  • Investors are banking in on quick profits, but mainly short-term
  • A lot of these investors are a combination of young investors and seasoned investors hurt by worldwide dip in indexes thanks to Brexit and generally sluggish worldwide economy.
  • It's a ticking bomb so timing is essential to get in and get out

Question is,
  1. How long will Nintendo's shares keep going up at this rate? - Until Nintendo reports its next quarterly profits which won't be as what people expect (duh) which will then send the shares crashing, unless they can come up with something quickly the next two months +
  2. Will its release in Asia push it further up? - yes if it can get into China's market asap before counterfeits and copies come in
  3. How does Pokemon Go keep players from getting bored once they've reached the level and amount of Pokemon caught that they're contented with?
KING's performance prior to acquisition by Activision. Source: Bloomberg

A similar case study, KING Digital Entertainment, the company which developed Candy Crush thought they were going to be big but ended up opening below their IPO and stagnated before being acquired by Activision (ATVI). Yes, people will argue that there is a loyal fanbase with Pokemon, but Candy Crush appeals to a wider range of ages rather than just millennials.

My own super rough prediction, since there are currently no models in predicting the future of NTDOY

My conclusion: Slightly bullish for the next week but generally bearish.

Just my two-cents!

My background? I am a millenial who plays moderately (currently on Level 15 with 57 pokemon on the Pokedox. Team Valor!).


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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Mica The Lab's training schedule

Day 14 - 16 (Fri Sat Sun)
Slept through the night 2/3
No snapping by G
Leash walking

Week 3 (10 week old)
Training: Off, Leave it, Leash
G&M: 2 snaps
Sleeps through the night 70%
Pee accident few times (usually after playtime)

Week 4 (11 week old)
Training: Off, Leave it, Leash, Come, Stay
G&M: Few snaps
Sleeps through the night 100%

Week 5 (12 week old)
Training: Off, Leave it, Leash, Come, Stay, Okay, Crawl
Sleeps through night 100%

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Mica the Lab's training wishlist

I am a dreamer, but more so an ambitious executer! Let's hope Mica gets some of these wishlist down in the next year, or two? =D

Training wishlist for Mica:
( ) indicating key words.
  1. Licks face on command (Kiss)
  2. Sit when I stop walking
  3. (Jump)
  4. Hides face on command (Hide face)
  5. GI Joe (Crawl)
  6. Play dead (Bang)
  7. Ring bell for potty (Potty)
  8. Brings leash to me before walk (Leash)
  9. Close the door behind her (Shut Door)
  10. (Speak) and Stop - lol don't want to teach him that barking is okay hence the stop command
  11. Nodding (Do You Agree)

Advanced wishlist;
  1. Carry newspapers and grocery bags, gently (Fetch and carry)
  2. Put away toys (Drop in Basket)
  3. Turn off the Light (Lights Off)
  4. Hide and Seek (Find It)
  5. Sing-a-long (Sing)
  6. Tracking (Trail, Find)
  7. Mathematician (Count)

Training tips

Training tips:


Training to be done before meal times
3Rs: Restriction, Redirection, Retraining
Training duration: 5-8 mins (April thinks 3 mins is max!)
Train respect: Sit before food, water, toys, going out of the door
Training reward: Verbal cue 'good girl' and her food kibbles as rewards (before using higher value treats with time)
Trainer: Maintain calmness myself and minimize raising of voice to avoid desensitization to normal volume speeches
Treats restriction: Strictly no treats allowed unless it's for training. Treats should be a reward for 'work'. You do not want to lower the value of the treat and raise her expectations
Bite inhibition - esp hand, feet, shoes and clothes (and reward non-biting licks)
Reward calmness (during time-out)

Training against people(or internet)'s advice:
1. Did not bring toys/towel to rub on her litter mates for her to sleep better to not make her miss her litter mates more and to allow better adjustment to home and new parents (us)
2. Did not let her sleep with us the first few nights in order to give her time (few days) to adjust to new home with rewards for calming down before allowing her to sleep in the master bedroom, in her crate of course. 

Key words trained up to day 12 (listed in order of training):
Good girl (positive cue)
Leave it
Go to your bed
Stay close

Key words left to train:
Toy (name of toys?)
Watch me

Mica the Puppy Schedule

This diary continues to understand her potty schedules and to keep tabs of her training progress. From a working line and a dad with a two-time national qualifier in field trials under his belt, this little girl is on the high spectrum of energy levels for Labrador Retriever, which means with constant exercise and consistent

JC (the breeder from Cripple Creeks Retriever) said she is very exploratory who was the first to enter the house compared to her littermates so she is clearly the very curious type, or maybe even the alpha of the littermates!

Dr. Ali from Montrose Veterinary Clinic said "A tired lab puppy is a good lab puppy."

Strict schedule STARTS today...

Day 4 (Tues)
Weight: 9.5 pounds
Vet appt: DHCPP booster, deworming, Triflexis
Training: First descend of two flights of stairs!
Poop: 7am, 3pm, 7pm
Food: 7am, 11am, 3pm, 7/8pm
Water stopped by 8:30pm
Bedtime potty 12:30am, 6am
Sleep in master bedroom with relaxing music, crying stop

Day 5 (Wed)
Introduces 5-minute ignoring rule upon returning home before letting out of crate
Training: Sit, come, leave it, (check-in)
Poop: 7am, 12:30pm, 10pm (Accident!)
Last water 4:45pm and A&D out for 4 hours 
Accident pee: closet and pen (5.30pm) stairs (10pm)
Water stopped by 10pm
11pm before Bedtime potty
Sleep in master with relaxing music.

Day 6 (Thursday)
Training: fetch and return ball, heel, off leash 'stay close'
Walk: Burnett
Poop: 7.30am (accident), 2pm, 
Water stopped after 8:30pm

Day 7 (Fri)
Poop: 7am, 12pm, 5:30pm
Feeding: 1 cup
Body: Ribs slightly shown so will increase food portion
Sleep in master with no music.

Day 8 (Sat)
Training: executed down responsively!
And overfed ~ 1 3/4 cups (overkill!)

Day 9 (Sun)
Rest day!
Weight: 11.0 pounds (+ 1.5 pounds in 6 days!)
Training: Refine Fetch
Walk: pm Burnett
Looked for pool (but it's empty lol) after walk 

Day 10 (Mon)
Held bladder all night!
Train: come close (instead of heel), sit and walks out of door last
Walk: pm Burnett
G&M: Just growl and snap.
Poop: Accident in master (my fault for not allowing her enough time in am)

Day 11 (Tue)
3am potty!
Training: Sit Down Up progression, paw, Bite inhibition, Calm
G&M: No snapping
No accident
Walk: pm Bayou
Feeding: 1 1/4 cup

Day 12 (Wed)
Held bladder all night!
Train: improve Paw, Up (from down position)
Walk: am Burnett (leash training)
G&M: M cornered G in mudroom and bite. No blood
Filled pool up for her
Last food and water at 9pm (too late!)
Accident: Poop in kitchen and by living balcony door in the evening

Day 13 (Thur)
Potty at 4:45am
Training: Leash, Heel, introduced 'Roll Over' (very quick at it!)
Walk: 7am Burnett,
G&M: Snapped when M disturbed G by biting his bed that he is laying in.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Puppy's first three days...

Black labrador Mica is a new addition to the family! Being an Asian parent means that a strict schedule, early training and eyeing her like a hawk during free roaming is a MUST :p

So here is my little diary to find that balance between what I want her to do and what her inherent personality is and bladder/bowel schedule is like...

Day 0 (Friday)
Got beautiful girl Mica followed by a 6 hour drive with two potty stops.
Introduce potty spot in backyard and master balcony
Training: Crate, First ascend of two flights of stairs
Food out all day
Last potty 11:30pm
Sleep: guest bedroom in her crate
Cried most of the night.

Day 1 (Saturday)
3am, 7am, 9.30am potty
Training: Crate
Food out all day
Pee accident x2 (master and living)
Last potty 10pm
Sleep: guest bedroom. Cried most of the night.

Day 2 (Sunday)
12:30am potty but cried after 2h30m
3:30am cried when removed but no potty
7:30am cried when let out for food and potty
Training: Crate, Collar
Food: getting used to solid food with some water.
Note: since she didn't potty at 3am should have brought her out directly in am and not worry about food+water until after!
Swim test: she's still scared (but water is too cold it's 8am lol!)
Training: Slept in crate well from 9am to 11:30am!
12pm Accident pee. Happy to be in backyard but not calmed yet so peed in pen.
Slept in guest bedroom. Less crying.

Day 3 (Monday)
7am: Pooped
Training: Sit, Separation Anxiety (in bathroom)
Socialization: Metro rail, Downtown, Bath
Went to find pool for water on her own
Walk: Bayou
Water stopped by 8:30pm
Bedtime potty 12am and 5am(?)
Slept in guest bedroom, mostly quiet all night

Strict schedule STARTS
Day 4 (Tues)
see next post...

Monday, April 11, 2016

Music Log

7 Years (Lucas Graham)
Pillow talk (Zayn)
Lost Stars (Adam Levine)
Love Yourself - guitar rhythm needs practicing

Electric Guitar (while A is at her guitar lessons)
Are You Gonna Be My Girl (Jet)
Hands Down (Dashboard Confessionals)

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Music log


Falling Slowly (Glen Hansard etc)
Hello (Adele)

Moonlight Sonata 1st and 2nd mov (Beethoven)
Romance Anonimo/d Amour or Spanish Romance
Fur Elise (Beethoven)
Clair de Lune (Claude Debussy)
Minuet in G (Bach)
Rondo alla Turca/Turkish March (Mozart)

Ballade pour Adeline
Marriage D'Amour

Nocturne no. 9 no. 2 (Chopin)
Fantasie Impromptu Op. 66 (Chopin)
Canon in D (Pachelbel)
Moonlight Sonata 3rd mov (Beethoven)
Habanera from "Carmen" (Bizet)
Liebestraum or Love Dream (Franz Liszt)